|Publication number||US7810171 B2|
|Application number||US 11/769,116|
|Publication date||Oct 12, 2010|
|Filing date||Jun 27, 2007|
|Priority date||Jun 27, 2007|
|Also published as||US20090000008, US20110004972|
|Publication number||11769116, 769116, US 7810171 B2, US 7810171B2, US-B2-7810171, US7810171 B2, US7810171B2|
|Inventors||Julia P. Moore|
|Original Assignee||Moore Julia P|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (9), Classifications (6), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to garments for nursing women to facilitate breastfeeding of their babies. More specifically, it relates to a garment covering a woman's torso, such as a T-shirt, that enables nursing an infant while minimizing adjustment of the woman's clothing and has the appearance of a regular, non-nursing garment.
2. Description of the Related Art
Mothers of newborn babies and infants have long been advised to breastfeed their children. However, because of women's typically active work schedules and lifestyles, they must often wear clothing that allows them to breastfeed in many locations other than in the home. Nursing women may also prefer wearing a garment that does not have the appearance of being a nursing garment for aesthetic reasons. Consequently, a need has existed for a garment, such as a long or short sleeve T-shirt style garment, that allows for breastfeeding with minimal exposure of the mother's torso and that appears to be a regular, non-nursing T-shirt.
Presently, T-shirts and similar garments that facilitate breastfeeding have visible features that make it apparent that the T-shirt is a nursing garment. Many women feel that these features detract from the garment's appeal, style, and aesthetic. Some nursing women would prefer to wear a regular or conventional looking T-shirt or other more fashionable garment but still be able to breastfeed comfortably while wearing the garment. For example, many women would like to wear a contemporary, form-fitting T-shirt or top that contains no obvious indicia of being a nursing garment. Some women would also prefer to avoid having to unhook, untie, or unzip any part of the garment or T-shirt or have to adjust or move layers of clothing or material attached in some manner to the garment or that work in conjunction with the garment. These obvious functional features of present nursing garments detract from their appearance to some mothers and make it obvious that the woman is wearing a nursing garment. Thus, there is a need for a T-shirt style nursing garment that has the appearance of a regular T-shirt, does not require significant adjustment, and minimizes exposure of the mother while breastfeeding.
A novel nursing garment that allows for breastfeeding with minimal exposure of the breast and having the appearance of a regular, non-nursing garment is described. In one aspect of the invention, the nursing garment is styled as a long or short sleeve T-shirt which may optionally have a design on the front, back or along the sleeves giving the T-shirt a non-typical nursing garment appearance. The garment has a front panel having at least one upper side section located near a breast and the side of the garment. A side seam connects the front panel of the garment to a back panel. The side seam has an upper segment and a lower segment, where the upper segment extends from near or immediately below the armpit area of the garment to approximately mid-way down the side of the garment ending at or near the middle of the woman's torso. The lower segment begins at the lower ending point of the upper segment and extends to the bottom of the garment. The upper segment has a seal and can be opened and closed as desired by a nursing woman. When the seal is closed, the upper segment of the seam has the general appearance of a normal seam and to others seeing the garment being worn, is generally indistinguishable from the lower segment of the seam.
When the seal of the upper segment is opened, the woman wearing the garment can control exposure of a breast for breastfeeding. The upper side segment can be opened by detaching the means being used to seal the front panel and the back panel. Once detached or unsealed, a breast can be exposed by pulling or moving the upper side section of the front panel towards the middle of the woman's chest as far as necessary to sufficiently enable breastfeeding. There are no flaps, layers, or other components of the garment that need to be moved or adjusted in order to open the seal and facilitate nursing. The seal may utilize one of several means including multiple hook and loop materials, such as Velcro, laces, buttons, snaps, and the like. The sealed upper segment portion may extend from the armpit area of the garment to any point below the mid-torso area, for example, to the nearly the bottom of the garment, thereby allowing the creation of a larger opening if desired.
References are made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the description and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments of the present invention:
Exemplary embodiments of a nursing garment according to the present invention are described. These examples and embodiments are provided solely to add context and aid in the understanding of the invention. Thus, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without some or all of the specific details described herein. In other instances, well-known concepts and garment components have not been described in detail in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the present invention. Other applications and examples are possible, such that the following examples, illustrations, and contexts should not be taken as definitive or limiting either in scope or setting. Although these embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable one skilled in the art to practice the invention, these examples, illustrations, and contexts are not limiting, and other embodiments may be used and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
A garment that facilitates breastfeeding by a woman styled as a T-shirt that does not have the appearance of a nursing garment and minimizes exposure of a woman's breast while breastfeeding is described in the various figures. Presently, many nursing garments have obvious or at least some apparent features indicating that the garment is not a regular garment but is specially tailored or styled as a garment that enables a woman to breastfeed an infant. In the described embodiment, a T-shirt styled garment has the appearance of a regular, non-nursing garment yet allows a woman to nurse with minimal exposure. In addition, the garment does not require partial disrobing by the woman or removal of any undergarments. Various alternative embodiments of the present invention are described further below.
As shown in
In the described embodiment of the present invention, side seam 28 has two segments. A bottom side segment extends from a point 27 to garment bottom point 36 and is normally stitched or sewn in a permanent manner. In other embodiments, point 27 can be higher or lower than that shown in
As described, seal 29 can be opened to create aperture 30. Various mechanisms can be used to create seal 29. Preferably ones that allow a woman to open and close the seal with one hand and do not involve extraneous or additional material should be used. For example, a VelcroŽ attachment or any other type of multiple hook-and-loop material can be used. In this embodiment, the “hook” side of the material may be attached to a tab running vertically along the side of seal 29. The “loop” side of the material may run vertically on a tab on the inside of seal 29. In another example, tabs and character strips used as a fastener in diapers may also be used to create seal 29. Other common garment seals such as zippers, laces, snap, and buttons may be used, although, as noted, it is preferable that the seal be easily opened by the woman wearing the garment and remain closed when sealed. Further, the effectiveness of sealing and re-sealing the opening should be generally maintained upon long-term use, which may limit the utility of, for example, the tab and character strip fastener. In the described embodiment, it is preferable that garment 10 not require any releasing or adjusting of any fastening devices for opening and sealing seal 29. As is evident to one of ordinary skill in the art, there are many variations and possible implementations of the mechanism or material used to create seal 29.
In other embodiments of the present invention, garment 10 may be a bodice portion of a dress or other type of torso component of a full-length woman's garment. Garment 10 may also be a sports or active wear style T-shirt having a form-fitting design or a more formal top, such as a blouse. Garment 10 may also be sleepwear or an undergarment. Generally, garment 10 may have various styles, patterns, shapes and can be made of different types of fabric, such as a flexible fabric that stretches easily (e.g., a Jersey knit fabric).
In the described embodiment, aperture 30, seal 29, and other components and features described above are on both sides of garment 10. In another embodiment, aperture 30 may only be formed on one side of garment 10. The other side may have a permanent side seal that extends from bottom point 36 to point 18 a or 18 b, as in a regular, non-nursing garment on the other side.
Although illustrative embodiments and applications of this invention are shown and described herein, many variations and modifications are possible which remain within the concept, scope, and spirit of the invention, and these variations would become clear to those of ordinary skill in the art after perusal of this application. Numerous stylistic modifications can be made to garment 10 without exceeding the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the embodiments described are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein, but may be modified within the scope and equivalents of the appended claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8707467||May 11, 2011||Apr 29, 2014||Schalyn N. Sohn||Caregiver cover|
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|US20130145522 *||Dec 11, 2012||Jun 13, 2013||John Jacob da Silva||Garment assembly having a detachable and customizable canvas therefor|
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|US20150143606 *||Nov 22, 2013||May 28, 2015||Tracey Sedlacek||Adaptive shirt|
|US20170027242 *||Jul 18, 2016||Feb 2, 2017||Rupal Asodaria||Nursing bracelet|
|U.S. Classification||2/104, 2/105, 2/106|
|Dec 7, 2010||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Apr 14, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4